The Top 10 Toxins Lurking in Your Cosmetics

There are over 8,2000 chemicals lurking in your personal care products, which includes cosmetics. More than one in eight (10,500) of these chemicals are industrial chemicals, including: automotive degreasers, carcinogens, hormone disruptors, pesticides, plasticizers and reproductive toxins.

After reviewing more than 12,500 personal care products, the David Suzuki Foundation found that over 80 percent contained at least one, and often multiple toxic and health-damaging chemicals. Some of the worst chemicals found in cosmetics include:

BHA and BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are common preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers. BHA has been linked to cancer and hormone disruption in humans. In animal studies, BHT has been linked to liver, thyroid and kidney problems that can mimic estrogen and block male sex hormones, resulting in problems with reproduction.

Coal Tar Dyes

Dyes made from coal tar are extensively used in cosmetics. They are usually listed as CI plus a 5-digit number or FD&C or D&C followed by a number. Derived from petrochemicals, coal tar recognized as a human carcinogen.

DEA Ingredients

Diethanolamine (DEA) and related compounds are used to make cosmetics creamy or to adjust the pH. While they are known to cause skin and eye irritation, in larger quantities, research shows that they can cause liver cancer and precancerous conditions of the skin or thyroid gland.

Dibutyl Pththalate

Used as a solvent for dyes as well as a plasticizer, DBP can increase the likelihood that other chemicals will damage a person’s genetic material, a type of toxin known as a mutagen.

Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives

Used as preservatives in cosmetics, as well as in vinyl flooring and in toilet bowl cleaners, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies these chemicals as known human carcinogens.

Parabens

Parabens are well-established hormone disruptors that throw off our delicate hormonal balance. Parabens in cosmetics may be linked to hormonally-related breast cancers.

Fragrance or Parfum

Approximately 3,000 chemicals are lumped together under the classification of “parfum” or “fragrance.” Even cosmetics that are listed as “fragrance-free” or “unscented” usually contain these toxic fragrances as well as chemical masking agents to hide the smell. They are commonly used in cosmetics, perfumes, colognes, laundry detergents and fabric softeners. They are linked to allergies, asthma, migraines, skin conditions and some have been linked to cancer.

PEG Compounds

Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are derived from petrochemicals and are used as thickening agents, solvents and moisture-carriers. Some PEGs are established carcinogens.

Petrolatum

Also known as petroleum jelly, petrolatum is, as its name suggests, derived from petroleum products, and is used to make skin or hair shine. It is linked with cancer.

Siloxanes

Siloxanes are silicone-based cosmetic ingredients that are also used in building sealants and lubricants. They include reproductive toxins that have been found to cause uterine tumors.

 

How to Detox Your Cosmetics

It is nearly impossible to avoid all toxic ingredients, but it is essential to reduce our toxic load, which is excessively high. Start by reading labels on your cosmetics. If your cosmetics don’t have an ingredient list, assume the company is trying to hide the ingredients from you, as natural cosmetics companies list their ingredient lists as a way to promote the cleanliness and purity of their products. If you find any of the ingredients identified above, skip the cosmetic product altogether. Instead, switch to natural cosmetics that are free of toxic ingredients. And, remember: just because a company states that its products are “organic” or “natural” doesn’t mean they actually are. Many companies in the cosmetics industry have bastardized these terms as a means of green-washing consumers to sell more product

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, founder of Scent-sational Wellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking. Follow her work.

 

34 comments

Emma L
Emma L3 days ago

tyfs

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지우 ě

I am a student who has a dream of becoming a cosmetics researcher. I've learned a lot about things I don't know by your article.Thank you for letting me step forward to my dream.

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Lara A
Lara A11 days ago

Thanks

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan H23 days ago

thanks

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Hannah A
Hannah A27 days ago

Thank you for posting

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Lesa DiIorio
Past Member 28 days ago

thank you Michelle...

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Sarah A
Sarah A28 days ago

Thank you

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Ruth S
Ruth S28 days ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S28 days ago

Thanks.

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Danuta W
Danuta Watola28 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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